In 2003, Utts published an article in American Statistician, a journal published by the American Statistical Association, calling for significant changes to collegiate level statistics education. In the article she argued that curricula do a fine job of covering the mathematical side of statistics, but do a poor job of teaching students the skills necessary to properly interpret statistical results in scientific studies. The argument continues that common errors found in news articles, such as the common misinterpretation that correlative studies show causation, would be reduced if there were significant changes made to standard statistics courses.
Investigation of remote viewing
In 1995, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) appointed a panel consisting primarily of Utts and Dr. Ray Hyman to evaluate a project investigating remote viewing for espionage applications, the Stargate Project, which was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, and carried out initially by Stanford Research Institute and subsequently by SAIC.
The two reports opposed each other, with the Utts' report saying "a small to medium psychic functioning was being exhibited" and that "future research should focus understanding how this phenomena works, and how to make it as useful as possible. For instance, it doesn't appear that a sender is needed. Precognition in which the answer is not known until a future time, appears to work quite well". Hyman's report stated that Utts' conclusion that ESP had been proven to exist, "especially precognition, is premature and that present findings have yet to be independently replicated". Funding for the project was stopped after these reports were issued. Jessica Utts also co-authored papers with Edwin May, who took over Stargate in 1985.
- "What educated citizens should know about statistics and probability," by Jessica Utts. The American Statistician, 57(2), 74-79, 2003
- An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning by Jessica Utts.
- Evaluation of a Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena by Ray Hyman.
- remote viewing
- About IRVA
- Seeing Through Statistics, 3rd edition (2005) - The use of statistical methods to solve real world problems, and to gain understanding from the application of statistics in addition to simply calculating them.
- Mind On Statistics, 4th edition (2012), with R.F. Heckard - Textbook for an introductory statistics course, with emphasis on understanding the use of statistics in everyday life.